Calliope's Real Greek Food

cooking & stories in my Brooklyn kitchen

Cabbage rolls with egg lemon sauce

 {lahanodolmades aygolemono}


This is a food for grown ups!  I know very few children that can go near cabbage rolls. For me, it was the aromas of the cabbage being boiled, but also the egg-lemon sauce that I did not care for as a child.  I have grown to like it and understand why it took 3 people in our kitchen to prepare ‘lahanodolmades’.

In the dolma family, this is by far a more sophisticated dish than the vine dolma. It can be served as a main dish with bread and feta cheese and the egg lemon sauce puts it right on top of the Greek fine cooking chain!

Tip:  Call a friend to help you roll the dolma; it is definitely a group, therapeutic activity!

Preparation Method

1.     Use a pairing knife to remove the core of cabbage and place it with the hole facing down in a pan with boiling water. Boil for about 30 minutes until slightly soft. If needed, roll over the cabbage in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove and drain

2.     Mix all filling ingredients very well until the meat changes color

3.     Use a sharp pairing knife to cut off the thick inner vein from each cabbage leaf

4.     Take a tablespoon of the meat mixture and place it onto the bottom part of the cabbage leaf. Bring the two sides of the leaf together to meet in the middle and roll up

5.     Layer a pot with cabbage leaves and slices of onion and start placing the ‘lahanodolmades’ in a snuggly manner; start stacking them up in the cooking pot

6.     Cook them covered with a plate inside the pot (and additional weight if needed, so that they will not move in the pot while boiling).

7.     Pour the water or stock just to cover them and 1/3 cup of olive oil

8.     If you have more parsley or dill, add it on top of the stack for extra aroma, and simmer with lid on, for about 45 minutes

9.     When ready, finish them with ‘avgolemono’: beat the egg yokes and the lemon juice together and temper this mixture by adding a few ladles of the cooking liquid from the cabbage rolls.  Add to the pot, shaking the pot a few times.  Let them sit 5 minutes before you serve them


-       1 medium sized cabbage, inner core removed

-       1 lb. ground beef & ground pork mixed

-       2 medium sized white onions, finely chopped

-       2-3 scallions, finely chopped

-       2 grated carrots

-       ½ bunch dill, chopped

-       ½ bunch parsley, chopped

-       1 cup Arborio rice

-       1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil for the filling

-       1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil for cooking the dolma

-       ½ cup water or vegetable stock

-       salt & freshly ground pepper


Ingredients for the egg lemon sauce

-       2 egg yokes

-       2 lemons




Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Serves: 6 – 8